Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Weekly media call and "This Week in Big Sky Football"

That's right folks, it's that time of the week!

Audio from the conference call with Portland State football's head coach Jerry Glanville is up. The file starts off with the end of Eastern Washington's Beau Baldwin taking questions, but then includes the head coach from this Saturday's game--Sacramento State's Marhsall Sperbeck--before Glanville fields questions.

Guests on "This Week in Big Sky Football" include Sperbeck, Idaho State wide receiver Jaron Taylor and David Coulson, executive director of FCS football for the Sports Network.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Viking recognized nationally

Portland State wide reciever and kick returner Aaron Woods was named as both the Big Sky Special Teams Player of the Week and the Sports Network's National Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Saturday's game against Weber State.

The press release says it best:
Woods returned five kickoffs for 202 yards and a 97-yard touchdown to keep Portland State close in its 36-29 loss to No. 11-ranked Weber State at home. His kickoff return for a touchdown helped the Vikings climb back from a 28-10 deficit late in the third quarter. Woods had five catches for 128 and two TDs, his second scoring catch on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Drew Hubel gave the Vikings the lead with 1:15 remaining.

Woods finished with 330 all-purpose yards. Woods leads the Big Sky Conference with an average of 192.8 all-purpose yards per game, ranking third in the nation in that category. This season, Woods has jumped all the way from 10th to second in career kickoff return yards (1,387) at Portland State. Woods set a school single-season record with 908 kickoff return yards last year.
Mike Lund
Assistant Athletics Director
Portland State University


Sunday, September 27, 2009

It Came Down to One Play

Vikings fall to Weber State, 29-36
by Allison Whited, Vanguard Staff

Sad. Deflated. Empty. All of these describe the looks on the faces of the football team after the game Saturday against the Weber State Wildcats.

They should have been proud. They lost by only a single touchdown to last year's conference title holder. They kept running back Trevyn Smith, the conference's current rushing leader, to 30 yards when he came in averaging 115.7 yards per game. They played well after the Montana game, something they have struggled with historically.

Head coach Jerry Glanville said it all after the game: “No comments, just disappointment.”

So what happened?

As the clock wound down to 1:12 in the fourth quarter, the Vikings were ahead by one point, 29-28. Less than twenty minutes before the Vikings had been down 10-28. It had been a scrappy comeback, with special teams, defense, and offense scoring to edge out the Wildcats by that one single point.

All day, Wildcat quarterback Cameron Higgins had been picking on the left side of the secondary. Glanville had originally lined up cornerback DeShawn Shead, who is almost always lined up on the right side of the field, against receiver Tim Toone, but, as Glanville put it, “he kept getting into trouble.”

When Shead couldn't answer the call, Glanville put him back on the right where he's comfortable and called Tracy Ford's number to replace him. According to quarterback Drew Hubel, Ford is a team leader who practices more than anyone else on the team and is heavily laden with heart and soul.

When the Wildcats began their run that would eventually lead to a victory, they did what the defending champs would do. In six plays and 47 seconds, they drove from their own 16 to the Portland State 38, aided by a Vikings' pass interference penalty.

After a Viking timeout, Higgins hit Toone in the end zone for a touchdown. That pass looked like a pick to everyone; Ford jumped up to the ball, was in perfect position, and somehow, someway, the ball sailed through his hands.

“I thought we had a pick,” said Glanville.

Even the Wildcat head coach and quarterback thought it was an interception.

With 55 seconds left in the game, the Vikings were emotionally and physically done. The game ended on an incomplete pass to Aaron Woods.

In a game with so many positives, including Hubel going 17 of 26 for 353 yards and two touchdowns, Ray Fry tearing it up for 196 receiving yards, and freshman fullback Ben Bowen rushing for 100 yards and garnering a gaudy 6.7 yards per rush average, the only thing Glanville's men will be thinking about today is that last play.

Like Hubel said after the game, it shouldn't have come down to that one play to win the game. Bowen had fumbled on the goal line and lost possession. Kicker Zach Brown missed two field goals. The team was penalized ten times for a total of 104 yards. Adjust just a few things, and that's the game.

But sometimes it does come down to just one play. It's a lesson that the Vikings and the Wildcats would do well to learn. 


Friday, September 25, 2009

Game Thought About Weber State

by Allison Whited, Vanguard Staff

Not that my opinion means much, but from now on, before Saturday's football game, I'm going to write a brief article about how I think the game is going to play out. I will provide some analysis of the opponent and mention what I think will be the key aspects of a Viking victory.

This week's opponent is Weber State. They shared the conference title with Montana last year, so this game is a biggie. In his media call this week, coach Glanville sounded a little bitter about this week's match up. He again and again reiterated that the Vikings have never played well in the game following last week's opponent Montana. Traditionally, the schedule has seen Glanville's men face Montana State after Montana, so this year Glanville asked for a change. This adjustment to the schedule leaves Portland State playing the two conference title holders from last year in consecutive weeks. Ouch.

Weber State has a record of 1-2 with their sole win coming over Big Sky competitor Idaho State. They entered the season with the league's top returning rusher, passer, and receiver.

Opponent Analysis

It will be all eyes on No. 25, running back Trevyn Smith. He is currently fifth on the Big Sky Conference's all-time leading rushers board. He needs just 110 yards tomorrow to move into third. He enters the game averaging 115.7 yards per game. He has also racked up 117 receiving yards so far.

Receiver Tim Toone will be quarterback Cameron Higgins's main target, but I would look for Cody Nakamura to have a good day. He has only 79 receiving yards less than Toone's 263, but twice as many touchdowns. I believe he will have to step up because the Viking secondary is going to put the squeeze on Toone.

The Wildcat defense doesn't strike me as overly stiff. They give up 373 yards of offense per game, and have only registered five sacks on the season. Their strong man on defense, at least statistically, is middle linebacker Taylor Sedillo who has 24 total tackles on the season. That's a respectable, but not mind blowing, 8 per game average, and he has not had a game in which he made more than 10 tackles.

Their secondary also seems a little thin with only three interceptions.

Viking Analysis

Enough can't be said about run defense in this game. If you take away Smith, there is no Wildcat running game. The next leading Weber State rusher is Bo Bolen who has had ten carries for a net 35 yards on the season. The run defense did look good at practice this week, I have to say.

Taking away the run would also force the Wildcats to the air where Higgins does make mistakes; he has thrown seven picks. I've said it many times, but I really like the Viking secondary. It is steady and has big play ability on every snap.

Offensively, the Vikings need to just play their game. Weber State allows an average of 221.7 yards through the air and 151.3 rushing yards per game. I don't want to say specifically what I saw the offense doing this week at practice, but I will say I don't like it. If you have a quarterback you can trust, and I think Hubel is certainly trustworthy, I say take the training wheels off and do it often.

The offensive line will stay strong, despite Moses Punzal's absence and Adam Kleffner's undetermined status. Kyle Ritt did a good job filling in this week, but Manual Rojas missed some stuff and was chastised on a couple of occasions. Lucky for them, the Wildcats don't appear, at least numerically, to have a severe pass rush.

In the End...

For the Vikings to win, they have to play perfect football, something they have not as of yet showed an ability to do. I'm more hopeful than Glanville seemed this week during the media call, but, at the end of the day, it will probably go the Wildcats. Their offense has all three parts working together like a machine.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tonight's the the Stott

As a part of new student week, Campus Rec is hosting their annual Night at the Stott event this evening from 7:30 to 10 p.m.  The event is free and features a shrimp boil as well as a laundry list of activities, including rock climbing, personal training, yoga, basketball and soccer.

As part of the fun, the aquatics program is sponsoring a "Dive in Movie," where they will project Yes Man on the two-story wall of the pool.

So, bring your Speedo and feed your Zooey Deschanel addiction while getting your swim on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This Week in Big Sky Football

Another edition of "This Week in Big Sky Football" is up on the Interwebs. Guests on the show this week include Weber State running back Trevyn Smith, Montana State coach Rob Ash and Big Sky Conference Assistant Commissioner Jon Kasper.

Portland State head coach Jerry Glanville's conference call with the media is also available. Sacramento State's Marshall Sperbeck is on the call before Glanville, so unless you want to hear about the Hornets' bye week, fast forward to the half-way point.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's (almost) game time!

  Portland State @ Montana, 12:05 p.m.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekly conference call with Jerry Glanville

This week's conference call with the media and Portland State football's head coach Jerry Glanville is up.

There's also a new edition of "This Week in Big Sky Football" with Commissioner Doug Fullerton, Northern Colorado's head coach Scott Downing and David Coulson of the Sports Network.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Fradella earns fifth Player of the Week

For the second straight week, Vikings' setter Nique Fradella has been chosen as the Big Sky Player of the Week.

Press release, take it away:

Portland State’s Nique Fradella has claimed her second straight Big Sky Player of the Week award for matches played the week of Sept. 7-14.

The Vikings won the Circus Circus Invitational in Reno, Nev. last week and Fradella was tabbed the MVP after notching 11.00 assists per set, and hitting .429 over the tournament. Portland State defeated Sam Houston State, UC Davis and host Nevada to take home the title. Earlier in the week, the Vikings took No. 12 Oregon to four sets before falling on the Ducks’ homecourts.

The senior setter notched 151 total assists, 28 digs and seven blocks on the week. She averaged 10.07 assists and 1.87 digs per set. In a 3-1 win over UC Davis on Saturday afternoon, Fradella recorded her third double-double of the season with 43 assists and 10 digs. She connected on 5-of-7 attempts for a .571 hitting percentage, and added three blocks and two service aces.

Fradella followed that up with 46 assists on Saturday evening as Portland State closed out the tournament with a 3-1 victory over Nevada. She started the week with 30 assists against Oregon. On Friday, she had 32 assists, two blocks and five kills as Portland State shut out Sam Houston State.

The native of Lake Arrowheard, Calif. has won the weekly award five times in her career. She was also honored twice in 2007 and once as a freshman in 2006.

Autumn L. Wehr
Big Sky Conference

Brown earns Big Sky recognition

Vikings' kicker Zach Brown was chosen today as the Big Sky Conference's Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in Saturday's game against Southern Oregon.

Straight from the press release:

Brown, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound freshman from Keizer, Ore., booted field goals of 52 and 46 yards in Portland State’s 34-10 victory over Southern Oregon. Brown’s 52-yard field goal came in the second quarter and put the Vikings up 17-3. It was the longest field goal by a Portland State kicker in 22 years and was 3-yards shy of tying the school record. Brown added the 46-yarder in the fourth quarter. Brown was also 4-for-4 on extra points and finished the game with 10 points. This is the first Player of the Week honor for Brown.
Jon Kasper
Assistant Commisioner/Media Relations

Big Sky Conference

Also nominated for this week's honors were junior quarterback Drew Hubel and sophomore linebacker Ryan Rau.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Success at Home

Viks pull off overwhelming win over Southern Oregon
by Allison Whited
Vanguard Staff

PGE Park on a warm Saturday afternoon in September was meant to be home to a football game. Head coach Jerry Glanville seemed to think the same thing as he led his team to a 34-10 victory over the Southern Oregon University Raiders.

Though it seems to be a strong win and therefore a good indicator of the team's ability, Glanville had no problem finding fault with his team, and justifiably so.

First, there were the six turnovers. Quarterback Drew Hubel threw two interceptions in the third quarter and wide receiver Aaron Woods had three fumbles on punt and kick returns.

Next was the lack of a score coming from the red zone. Last year, the team ranked last in the Big Sky Conference in red-zone offense.

Penalties? Nine flags for 85 yards, including a boneheaded roughing the kicker penalty on a punt that returned possession to Raiders.

Lastly, according to Glanville, the freshmen played like freshmen. Evidence of this came on the Raiders' only touchdown. Early in the fourth quarter, outside linebacker Joel Sisler blew his coverage and allowed a 75-yard pass to speedy receiver Vance Beach.

Despite the obvious negatives, plenty of positives came out of this game.

The first, as Glanville agrees, is the performance of kicker Zach Brown. Last year he traveled listed as an emergency punter, but after this game, it seems like kicking is his niche. He hit field goals from 52 and 46 yards today that would have been good from several more yards out. He also barely missed a 42 yarder.

“We found our kicker today,” Glanville said.

Second would have to be the overall performance of the defense. They stifled the opposing offense and allowed them to complete just 16 of 41 attempted passes. Seniors Erik Pedersen and Jermaine Jacobs had six and five tackles, respectively, assisted and unassisted, while fellow senior Ryan Pedersen racked up five solo tackles, including two tackles for a loss.

The defense also kept a Raiders rushing attack that garnered 242 yards in their season opener to a miserable 12 yards despite 34 hand offs.

When asked about how he felt the defense performed, Erik Pedersen replied that “[they] did pretty good” considering they had to play through 75 offensive snaps. The defense also allowed the Raiders to only convert on six of their 22 attempts at third down.

Another bright spot in the Vikings' game plan was the ability to convert third downs. Though last year they ranked last in the conference with just a 33 percent success rate, in this game they converted on six of 11 attempts for a healthy 54 percent rate.

Last but not least was the explosive play of the defense. On the first possession of the first quarter, Hubel threw a 96 yard touchdown pass to Woods. On the very next one, he threw a 91 yard touchdown pass over the middle to receiver Lavonte Kirven, who showcased soft, beautiful hands throughout the game.

Next week will be a true test of Glanville's Vikings. They will compete against Montana in Missoula in their first conference game.

Glanville says he will inform the squad on Monday that preseason is officially over and that the one-and-one record they have amassed so far doesn't mean anything.

Erik Pedersen, for one, is happy to be getting such a big game out of the way so early in the season.

Montana is "a team that gains momentum as the season goes along. We're still healthy and have a lot of guys ready to hit,” he said.

Montana is the team to beat in the Big Sky, considering they have won or shared the last 11 conference titles. In last year's match up between the two teams, the Grizzlies controlled the ball for a little over 43 minutes. For the Vikings to have any chance at winning, they will have to keep their defense off the field and have a solid day against the run, preventing another 300-plus yard rushing day for the annual conference favorite.

Senior Lavonte Kirven caught three passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's game against Southern Oregon, including this 42-yard touchdown reception.

Photo by Aaron Leopold,
Vanguard Staff

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vikings open at home with Family Day at PGE Park

Fans and families alike are invited to PGE Park on Saturday as Portland State football kicks off their 2009 home season against Southern Oregon.

Coming off last week's hard-fought loss to Oregon State on the road, the Vikings look to earn their first win of the season on their home turf as they face the NAIA-independent Raiders from Ashland. The last time the two teams met was in 1975, when Portland State was led by coach Mouse Davis to a 58-7 victory.

The game is scheduled for a 1:05 p.m. kickoff and will feature family-friendly activities and discounted ticket packages. As a part of Family Day at Portland State Football, two adult and two youth general admission tickets will be available for $25 and the Viking Family Fun Zone, featuring three inflatables from Portland Party Works, will be available for kids from noon through halftime.

To purchase tickets by phone, call 1.888.VIK.TIKS (1.888.845.8457) or 503.725.3307.

More information is available here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Viking Athletics Program Teams With Bald Faced Truth Foundation

The Portland State Athletics program and the Bald Faced Truth Foundation have announced a partnership that will allow PSU to aid the all-volunteer non-profit in support of area youth programs and activities.

The non-profit, created by local newspaper columnist John Canzano and KATU reporter-anchor Anna Song, has the stated mission of "inspiring joy and growth in area youth through the support of the arts, education and athletics." Portland State Athletics will work in conjunction with the Bald Faced Truth Foundation to restore funding to these critical youth activities throughout the Portland Metro Area.

The partnership begins with Portland State football hosting the Bald Faced Truth Foundation Day on Oct. 17 at PGE Park when the Vikings play Northern Arizona. Guests can make a donation to the BFT Foundation and receive a complimentary general admission ticket (min. $10 donation per ticket). Proceeds raised from the BFT Foundation Day will be used to fund grant requests for elementary and middle school programs in the area.

"This is a great opportunity for our program to be involved with a worthwhile organization," said Viking football coach Jerry Glanville.

For more details about the Bald Faced Truth Foundation, go to or email The BFT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your contributions are tax-deductible.

Mike Lund
Assistant Athletic Director
Media Relations

"This Week in Big Sky Football" and coaches conference call podcast, Sept. 9

The first edition of “This Week in Big Sky Football” is up. On the show are Montana coach Bobby Hauck, Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones and Dave Coulson of the Sports Network.

Also, listen to the audio of this week's conference call with coach Jerry Glanville. Eastern Washington's
Beau Baldwin and Sacramento State's Marshall Sperbeck take questions first, so feel free to fast-forward to the final third to hear Glanville.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pod cast of Big Sky Conference football coaches conference call, Wednesday, Sept. 2

Listen to the pod cast of today's conference call with Big Sky football coaches:
  • Sacramento State's Marshall Sperbeck
  • Northern Arizona's Jerome Souers
  • Weber State's Ron McBride
  • Idaho State's John Zamberlin
  • Portland State's Jerry Glanville
  • Northern Colorado's Scott Downing
  • Montana's Bobby Hauck
  • Eastern Washington's Beau Baldwin
  • Montana State's Rob Ash